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2017 January 23

Utenos trikotažas becomes first Lithuanian company to join Greenpeace Detox campaign

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Utenos trikotažas, the largest textile manufacturer in Central and Eastern Europe, has officially joined the Detox campaign of Greenpeace this year. Utenos trikotažas has committed itself to eliminating by 2020 any raw materials likely to have adverse effects on humans or the environment from its production chains at all stages of the product life cycle, from the start of production, through packing, to the wearing, washing, sorting and recycling of clothing. The Detox campaign involves 78 companies from around the world, including Valentino, Benetton, Levis and other. Utenos trikotažas, a part of SBA group, is the first Lithuanian company involved in the campaign.

“Ever since 2012, the strategy of Utenos trikotažas has been focused on higher value-added, environmentally-friendly and high-quality products. We have strong customers who value innovative materials and see environmental protection and the effects of the products they buy on the environment in a broad sense as issues of relevance – this is a growing global trend, and we have been consciously and consistently preparing for it,” – says Algirdas Šabūnas, CEO at Utenos trikotažas.

It took Utenos trikotažas several years to prepare for joining the Greenpeace initiative. Since 2014, it has invested in a variety of laboratory tests and trials, with its professionals devoting a lot of time to reviewing all the production chains and carrying out regular comprehensive assessments of suppliers. The Detox commitment will add to the certifications earned by the company so far (e.g. Global Organic Textile Standard, Organic Content Standard, etc.) in recognition of environmentally-friendly and socially-responsible production.

“Our production has been free from harmful substances for a long time already, and chemical compounds released at different stages of production are within the permissible limits. As soon as it fulfils the requirements set by Greenpeace, Utenos trikotažas will permanently eliminate even the permissible amounts of undesirable substances – such achievements by vertically-integrated manufacturing companies are a very rare phenomenon. In addition to Utenos trikotažas, there are only a few vertically-integrated manufacturing companies in the entire world that have fulfilled the conditions set by Greenpeace and acquired the right to join the Detox campaign. This is yet another significant step taken by the company in enhancing its distinctiveness in the competitive textile market,” – Šabūnas added.

Since 2011, Greenpeace has been actively fighting pollution in the textile industry. Environmentalists have identified 11 groups of chemicals widely used in the textile industry that are of a particular concern due to their effects on humans and the environment. Greenpeace insists that the major manufacturers and their suppliers commit themselves to stopping by 2020 the use of these hazardous chemicals in production and ensure that they do not get into the sewage water.